Ace's View

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Archive for April 2015

#incasetheykillme

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I wrote a whole other entry on Baltimore yesterday that was going to be posted as soon as I got home.

I walked in the door last night from work, turned on the TV, took my shoes off, and was greeted by scenes of Baltimore on fire on CNN.

But then, I flip open my laptop and on social media, there are images of white folks looting in Baltimore while black people clean up and attempt to restore order in their neighborhoods.

It just further reminded me that we don’t control any of our own narrative through “traditional” media.

And this isn’t by luck or by chance, but I realized a long time ago that if you control the news and information that gets out, you control the presented image of what gets out, and what people hear and see.

Therefore, you control what they believe.

Our perception and what you think about a story has nothing to do with luck.  It has to do with the information that is out there, how many people know it, and the sources that are telling the story.

Bringing me to why I’m writing this today.

At the place where I work now, I often find myself with a lot more downtime than I’m used to.  Which, after years of having none of that, I cherish it and use it to get a lot done that I normally would have to wait until getting home to do.

Make a grocery list? Sure, why not.  Try to get my e-mail inbox back to 0?  Let’s do it.  Prepare taxes?  Okay, I might be stretching it on that one.

I have a lot more free time at work, is the main bullet point to glean from this.

So, naturally, when I run out of things to do, I tumble headfirst into a rabbit hole of news stories, scrolling through them as they appear on my social media or on Yahoo’s homepage.

Last night, my rabbit hole involved stories about Baltimore.  About the history of police violence, tactics.  About how much of the neighborhoods in the area where Freddie Gray was arrested and murdered have a tradition of things like this happening to people.

And then I stumbled upon a line in one of the stories that specifically said that the family of Gray had asked for no protests on the day of his wake and funeral.

Of course, since he’s dead, we can’t ask him what he wants.

So I see an opportunity here to go ahead and let you guys in on something using this space here, since what his family requested is no longer respected:

I’ve decided to inform my family and friends of my final wishes and preferred plan of action in the apparently steadily increasing chance that I, as a black person living in America, may be seriously injured or killed by police (local, county, or state), undercover cops, off-duty cops, National Guardsman, FBI/CIA agents, neighborhood “watchman”/vigilante, man at gas station if my music is too loud, or random armed person using my blackness as validation to “fear for their lives”.

Surprisingly, this isn’t me being dramatic, either.  This is actually something that I thought about way back in the beginning stages of my adolescence as I watched Los Angeles burn.

The press conference with Rodney King and Reginald Denny together and the infamous “can’t we all just get along” sound bite happened, and I remember thinking:

What would I want to happen if I was no longer here? 

If I couldn’t go to the press conference and tell my community, protest in peace and wait for justice to take its course, or tear this shit all the way up?

Or any and everything in between these two?

Should this be the start of another hashtag discussion similar to #iftheygunnedmedown?  There, you clearly see the glaring differences in the ways that minorities are portrayed in the media when they are the victims of police violence, versus our Caucasian counterparts.

#dothisinrememberance? #incasetheykillme?

Something a tad less–or–more–dramatic?  Jarring?

I think the discussion that #iftheygunnedmedown opened the eyes of more people to how we are perceived in the media—and by default, society, en masse.

But since I’m past attempting trying to fight against why such a clause has to be made by myself and others, and have just come to accept it as a reality, I strongly consider most of yout to do the same, as this seems to be something that doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Since I apparently have a better chance of being killed by police these days than winning the Powerball, make sure that those you love and trust know what YOU want in case something like this happens to you.

Me? In addition to me telling those I consider people who will keep my wishes enforced and will hold those accountable who claim to act on my behalf incorrectly–I’ll also be writing it into my will so there’s no confusion.

Control the narrative and make sure the right people have the information, I–and therefore we–can’t lose.  Well, there’s always the possiblilty of being severely injured or killed, but que sera, right?

In the meantime, please pray for Baltimore and think about it, honestly.

What would you want in this case?

For now, I’m off to work.

And maybe to buy some Powerball tickets.

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Written by aceviewblogger

April 28, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized